2014 News Archive

  • December 2014

30.12.14 I've been very busy in the run-up to Christmas so here is a final update before the years end of some good and also some sad news:

Next Meeting: Tuesday 6th January 2015 from 8.30pm at the Toby Inn, Redhill. Join us as we enter our 30th year!

Member Graham Foy gave an eye witness account on Susy Radio of the emergency landing of the Virgin 747. This also made the BBC via the BBC / Susy Radio news share agreement. Geoff Rogers used his old Susy Radio moniker Graham Ford but in the news bulletins under his real name. So they'll know where to find him now....

Gerry Wells - Hans Knot posted on Face book that, Gerry Wells founder of The Radio Museum at Dulwich died on 22nd December aged 85. It's also a reminder that a few days ago Hans also has theChristmas 2014 International Radio Report available. See link. Hans Knot

I also thought I need to pass on a few kind words about Colin Lane. Not a radio anorak but, a good friend of mine. I sadly heard of his passing away in the run-up to Christmas. Colin has been a good friend and plays a small but, important part in our groups history. He gave much support and provided some assistance to our publication SAS Home Pages in the period August 1998 until 2001.

Finally, on a more positive note I had two interesting presents unwrapped over the Christmas period. Firstly, the DVD Pirates of the Airwaves. This is an innovative feature length documentary about Radio Hauraki. It combines dramatisations, interviews, archive footage and 60s music. Available from shop.TVNZ.co.nz or search under Amazon. A must see on a dark winters evening.

Also the DVD 'That'll Be The Day' a live recording of the show's 2013 / 2014 Tour. I didn't get to see it this year so the DVD is much appreciated. In the first half of the show there is a section 'Radio Caroline' as the crew plays Hippy, Hippy Shake, Green Green Grass of Home, River Deep Mountain High (which owes its' success to the pirates) and The Carnival Is Over. For details and current tours visit That'll Be The Day

Publications - As we head towards the end of the year two publications have fallen through the front door...

Offshore Echos Issue 178 - OEM News, Obituaries, Interview Peggy Knight, Rob Ronder, Sebastian Black at Euroradio, Cartoons, Riders of the Storm - the Great Storm of October 1987 (well worth buying the mag just for this!) Radio Mercur story Part 10, Government Files and Newscaster January 1973 issue.

Tune Into Yesterday Issue 73 arrived on the doormat today at the weekend(16.09.14) and features interview with Roger Bickerton of the VRPCC, NBC Short Wave Listening Post (1941). Plus Issue 73 Supplement News from the Archives, "The Case of the Missing PC49 discs" and How The Doctor Who Missing Episodes were Saved by Charles Norton. For contact details see Other Radio Groups

Eagle Extra / Premier Christian Radio - SB has chastised me for not updating you promptly on this. SB informed me at our meet on the 2nd December that following Ofcom's consultation from 15th September that Eagle Extra has ceased broadcasting and that 1566 kHz is now carrying Premier Radio from 1st December. After UKRD first got Ofcom to agree to a format change request to re-broadcast London’s Premier Christian Radio they then 'sold' the station to them. UKRD have of course absorbed the costs of proposals to change format and I suspect sold 1566 for a nominal sum. UKRD’s Chief Executive Officer William Rogers gave the usual spiel to RadioToday “This is a perfect fit for Premier and also facilitates our continuing evolution as a business. I am delighted to have worked with PCR on getting this done and I wish them every success with their new baby.” Of course he would say this. UKRD have been trying to off-load the frequency for well over 10 perhaps 15 years. If you tune into 1566 it is a few seconds behind the other AM frequencies of 1305, 1332 and 1413 kHz as it is currently being picked up off the internet.

Three Mile Limit - Michael Murphy Rocking Soundtrack Single 'FREEDOM'. Here is the 3 Mile Limit soundtrack song FREEDOM performed by Michael Murphy. Please share the sound as much as possible. Michael Murphy FREEDOM (Official Music Video)

  • November 2014

sasradiogroup - our final meet of the year takes place next Tuesday 2nd December at the Toby Inn from 8.30pm. Avoid the Christmas build-up and join us for an evening! We have our latest newsletter with a Manx Radio special.

4G Mobile Services - At800 advise that stated that most of the problems encountered with Freeview in the 800 MHz range was due to 'faulty and antiquated antennae' and not from 4G services.

Over 90% of viewers use Freeview for their TV services. After all in these economic times why pay? Now Freeview face another Ofcom based threat as they plan to auction frequencies in the 700 MHz range for 4G smartphones. About 0.5% of Freeview viewers will need new aerials or adjustments as 700 MHz channels are moved. At least this will be in 2019. The Times reported last week that Freeview are not amused "Freview believes clearance of the 700MHz band...must be organised so that Freeview retains its current coverage and channel line-up". Ofcom raised £2.3 billion in the previous auction for 800 MHz falling short of the expected £3.5 billion anticipated. Freeview is demanding that neither they or the viewers should pay for the disruption.

BBC Local Radio - 18.11.14 our members have noted on 1368 kHz (BBC Surrey) has started carrying an announcement that, as part of a cost saving trial, that as an experiment this transmitter will be switched off from 1st December until 5th December and asking listeners to re-tune to FM or DAB. A number of other stations are affected including the Sussex sister station and Lancashire. BBC Humberside, Wiltshire and Devon will follow for the period 8th to 12th December. Ed's comments: Why bother? Why yet another phase? This is typical of the Beeb who can't make basic decisions. Closing Surrey or Sussex for that matter should make little difference at all. Whereas, due to the local topography BBC Devon needs AM to cover issues on FM reception. Come on BBC! You have all the info to hand already to make strategic decisions! (more anger...more money wasted by the BBC...running b****y pointless exercises when we think they've decided to do nothing...Grrrr!)

Susy Radio 103.4 - given the connections between sasradiogroup and Susy Radio we want to put more Susy news on this website. Stef Basset presenter on the station has contacted us and recommends you listen into 'A Village at War' by John Callcut. Originally broadcast on 103.4 FM this is available on the Susy website Listen Again button. This eight paert series is based on John Callcuts' book 'A Village at War'. Based on his research into the thirty two men whose names are on the Newdigate War memorial. The book and now the radio series sets out their powerful story spoken in their own words. A Village at War

Trash Can Radio - anyone remember the American Mike Spenser who used to come to our meets about a decade ago? He's launched / re-launched his station on the Surrey Multiplex. Playing trashy Rock'n'Roll, Old School Rhythm & Blues, Punk, Ska, Rockabilly, 60s Garage Punk and other kinds of pure trash music. It definitely sounds different but is in that very low-fi 64 kbs bit rate. Go in via the web! TrashCanRadio

sasradiogroup - a good and mixed meet. Colin the MD of Susy Radio turned up. We were pleased to welcome Rob - a community radio DJ who was involved in FM activity in the early 80s. So our discussion involved the likes of Surrey FM. Bromley Sounds and Thameside etc. After a break due to a new job and other commitments our newsletter returns next month as we visit Manx Radio and have an exclusive interview! Honest.

sasradiogroup - next meet Tuesday 4th November from 8.30 pm at the refurbished Toby Inn! See below info from Hans Knot!

November 2014 International Radio Report - if you attend our regular meetings you will be very familiar with the first story on the latest edition of Hans Knot's report. Garry Tanner reports on the salvage of a barge (it's a self-propelled barge actually) . This was used as the tender to get the Mi Amigo back on air in 1979. If you click on the report you'll read what insiders have known for years plus a photo on the barge marooned on a beach! Hans Knot

  • October 2014

Radio Caroline / Manx Radio - both celebrated their 50th birthdays this year and are joining together for a special commemoration. This starts with Manx Radio broadcasting Chris William’s "Carnaby Street" show from the MV Ross Revenge on Saturday 15th November. From Monday 17th November until Thursday 20th November Radio Caroline will broadcast via Manx Radio. There will be special programmes nightly on FM from 6-30-9pm. During this period Caroline will be heard on Manx Radio’s AM frequency of 1368 kHz overnight from midnight until 6am. All re-broadcasted worldwide on-line on Radio Caroline. We are promised documentary programmes, archive recordings and specially re-creations of 60s programming. Hear various sDJ’s of the period including Tom Lodge, Roger Gale, Mike Ahearn, and even the “Royal Ruler” himself – Tony Prince. Eds comment and a bit of radio history: Manx Radio has been closing down for a while from 0200 to 0600 hours as an economy measure. Maybe if the broadcasts are a success Caroline could again be heard over Manx Radio in 2015.

I was involved in a small-scale FM station in the late 70s and early 80s and interviewed the Manx Radio General Manager in May 1980 claiming to be from a magazine. I found out that back in 1974/5 Manx Radio was allocated 1368 kHz in an agreement with the Home Office. They were verbally told that they would have exclusive use of this channel in the UK. They were somewhat surprised to find out later (possibly reading the WRTH World Radio & TV Handbook) that the BBC were allocated the same channel for Radios Lincoln, Swindon and Surrey (Dunsfold). They complained to the powers that be and were quite willing to compromise in allowing Swindon and Surrey to utilise 1368 kHz but felt that BBC Radio Lincoln should use another frequency as it would them problems. Needless to say the UK Government paid no attention and the Manx government got well and truly stuffed. BBC Radio Lincoln needless to say caused interference to the Manx broadcaster at night. .

(Almost) Offshore - Number 1, The Thames, Sheerness ME3. Known also as The Grain Tower Battery. Rightmove report that the fort sold for around £400,000.

DAB or not DAB That is the Question - sales of DAB radios are now in decline. (Source Daily Telegraph 14.10.14) i.e. this years sales are less than last years. For the previous few years sales had been flat (i.e. no real increase) Communications Minister Ed Vaizey says the BBC wants to develop "hybrid" DAB, FM and internet radios. The radio industry wants Smartphones to includes DAB hardware in new handsets. Ed: Many industry observers like ourselves have been saying that this has been happening for some time. Just why manufacturers of Smartphone would add DAB is anybody's guess. Why add it when you can access other forms of digital radio on the handset via apps or whatever anyway? DAB is 15 years old and already obsolescent. DAB+ might be another matter. Ofcom, and the government could get some very sound advise from us...Bearing in mind my day job at consultancy rates of course.

Jocelyn Stevens - The Daily Express reports that one of the original directors and backers of Radio Caroline has passed away at 82. If you get the see the 1964 World In Action documentary Jocelyn does a lot of the taking.

Radio Mi Amigo (Spain) - Hans Knot advises they now have a website at http://www.radiomiamigo.es/ Radio Mi Amigo Spain

sasradiogroup - had a bit of a shock on Tuesday 7th October as we discovered the Inn and Carvery had shut for 12 days for a refurb. Like a radioship we upped anchor and sailed down to our former haunt the Home Cottage. Many of us tried the 'Ghost Ship' ale but would have preferred it to be called the 'Pirate Ship'. November's meeting will be back at the spruced up Toby Inn. A good meet and some interesting news below

QUASAR Radio 'the album station' - we drift onto discussing internet radio occasionally at our meets. Big news came of a re-launch of quasar. Some very well known former Radio Caroline names are here including Cliff Osborne, Jeremy Chartham, Dave Richards, Roger Mathews (one of my all-time favourite Caroline presenters), Brian Martin and Dave Asher who also did stints on the VOP. Other names so far lined up Kathy Barham and Gary Ziepe who is ex commercial radio. The station is testing at the moment with some live shows over weekends and more to come. quasarradio

  • September 2014

October 2014 International Radio Report - Hans Knot has posted the latest edition. Tons to read and enjoy! If you don't subscribe go to the following link for a look Hans Knot

RTE - in over a month's time the 252 kHz RTE is closing down their long-wave transmitter on 27th October 2014. One remembers Charlie Wolf with the first show on Atlantic 252 and the words "You're never more than 90 seconds away from the music...because of inflation" a great comment to the late lamented Laser 558.

Radio Mi Amigo (Spain) - looks like they are taking up our suggestion of using the Radio 700 41 metre band frequency of 7310 kHz, They will be on-air from 1200 to 1600 CET on Sunday 28th September. They've taken on board comments and reception should be far better than on the previous 6005 kHz. Playing mainly oldies from the 70s and 80s with programmes in English, German and Dutch. Reception reports to: info@radiomiamigo.es.

Publications - Tune Into Yesterday Issue 72 arrived on Gerry's doormat today (16.09.14) and features News from the Archives plus two well known full colour photos of the Mebo 2. Plus Issue 72 Supplement Letter From America rediscovered, Zillah Watson, BBC Research & Development, Lifecycle of an Asset by Kevin Shaw (Lead Technologist) BBC Studios & Post Production. Other Radio Groups -

Eagle Extra 15.09.14 Ofcom has today published a consultation on a request received from Eagle Radio Ltd (a subsidiary of UKRD Group) to change the Format (Character of Service) of its AM service for Surrey and North East Hampshire. The format forming a key part of the station's licence. Eagle Radio Ltd has requested to drop local music and information to re-broadcasting London’s Premier Christian Radio. Eagle Extra would no longer needed to produce programmes locally or deliver local news at peak times.

Publications - at the weekend OEM Issue 177 fell on my doormat and I'm half-way thru'. News, Pirate Radio Museum, Interview Joseph Verbeke (technician REM Island and MV Laissez-Fairre, George Saunders archives, OEM catalogue, Radio Mercur story Part 9 (previously unpublished in OEM), Government Files and Newscaster 1973. Other Radio GroupsRadio Shack - 12.09.14 the US company may have to file for bankruptcy protection. The US retailer (which used to own Tandy's in the UK) has more than 5,000 stores but losses doubled in the second quarter along with a 20% fall in same-store sales. Attempts at improving the balance sheet and finding alternative capital falling short of requirements. Ed: Tandy's in the UK was a haven for many pirates operators and how many of us used their £50 4-channel mixers. Mine went to a good home where it is still regularly in use!

Caroline Martin - the former 80s Caroline DJ is the 'Face behind the voice' in the Radio Times (13-19 September 2014), A small article but, well worth a read showing her affection for Radio Caroline. After all her parents named her after the station. Currently working on BBC WM 95.6 MHz weekdays from 12 midday to 2pm. Also available at BBC WM

Radio Mi Amigo - The Spanish version of the station will test via the facilities of Radio 700. They will be on-air from 10.00 to 14.00 CET on Sunday 14th September on the official 49m shortwave band. If the response is good they aim to be on every Sunday in October and November. Playing mainly oldies from the 70s and 80s with programmes in English, German and Dutch. Reception reports to: info@radiomiamigo.es.

3 Mile Limit - has won Official Selection into the Northampton International Film Festival and 3 Mile Limit is the opening film of the festival.

sasradiogroup - a good turn up for the beginning of September with a couple of regulars having missed the meet due to holidays!

September 2014 International Radio Report - Hans Knot sent me his latest edition which I'll have a read at the weekend. If you want to look click on the link for this report or sign-up. Hans Knot

  • August 2014

Anniversaries - After 25 years since the raid on the Ross on 19th August 1989 we head towards the 40th Anniversary of the Dutch MOA. These can be very sad memories but try to reflect on the many years of entertainment and freedom from the Northsesa. To quote Michael Robinson from his 1975 song The Day the Music Died "but the memory will surely last". In fact go to YouTube and hear the full song or if you've two hours to spare watch the entire two hour documentary. I skimmed through this tonight (28th August) and it is a very worth while programme to see. Then you can come to thesasradiogroup meet on Tuesday 2nd September and chat about it!

Radio User magazine - September edition now on sale from from WH Smiths. So go out and buy! PW Publishing Radio User Magazine.

Radio Nord Revival 21.08.2014 - Please note Radio Nord Revival frequencies. AM is now testing and SW from 080.00 hrs on 21st August from Ringvalla: Full transmision on 23rd August 2014

MW 1512 kHz from Kvarnberget, Vallentuna. Licensed power is 2.5 kW may only use 1 kW. Antenna height is 37 metres.

SW 3950 kHz from Ringvalla, Sala. Licensed power is 5 kW.

SW 5810, 6065 and 9295 kHz from Ringvalla, Sala. One of the frequencies to be used at a time. Licensed power is 10 kW (using A3H modulation (single sideband plus full carrier).

SW 5770 kHz from The Castle, Vaxholm. Licensed power is 0.5 kW. At the moment it is not clear what transmitter that will be used. This is a 'one-off chance' to catch a broadcasting signal from The Castle - the place where the first broadcast ever in Sweden was made on September 1, 1919.

Bogspot Radio Nord Revival they report that on August 23rd they will return for a special broadcast from The Castle off Vaxholm, Sweden in connection with the Radio Day, arranged by Täby Sändareamatörer.

Michael Parkin - sadly another offshore radio obituary. Michael was the initial manager of Radio Caroline in the 60's, having previously worked for Associated Rediffusion TV and set up Channel TV. Michael's first staff appointments were DJs Simon Dee and Tony Blackburn. He fell out with his former friend Tony Benn over the banning of the pirates in 1967. He had a varied career pre-Caroline having been a Captain in the Irish Fusiliers and going into market research before working for Rediffusion in 1954. After his pirate adventure he became an art dealer and ran a gallery from 1971 to the end of the 90s. Michael passed away aged 82 on August 4th 2012. A very extensive obituary in The Daily telegraph on 16th August.

sasradiogroup website - I've been making some changes to the look of the website to go for drop down menu's instead of using a sidebar as this is more 'modern'. Some pages have been switched to a different heading e.g. 'Radio Jackie goes legal' from under our Publications>Archive into our Memories section, some pages had to be re-named as the previous titles caused problems in the new format. I hope you will find it easier to use and drill down onto the site. I will genuinely take note of your comments and if the previous version is preferred can switch it back if required! Comments can be made to webmastersasradio@yahoo.com

Radio Mi Amigo 106.8 MHz - the final? offshore tribute broadcast from the LV18 in Harwich harbour to be heard from 14th to 17th August. Also on the internet at www.LV18.org. Threre is also am exhibition at Ha'penny Pier and an 'Audience with the Pirates' show at the Electric Palace Cinema. Meet the Djs asd they broadcast from the studio on the bridge of LV18.

sasradiogroup - a good turn up for the beginning of August. nine of us chatting away on various subjects. 1386 kHz being one of them. Graham ID'd our unidentified station at the weekend as Radio Seborga International from the North of Italy. We hope to be able to add more details soon!

Lots of news to and items of interest to start the month!

sasradiogroup - next meeting Tuesday 5th August at the Toby Inn, Redhill from 8.30pm!

Radio Caroline MV Ross Revenge - 31st July the ship has finally left Tilbury and is now (August 1st) at new moorings on the River Blackwater near Bradwell Caroline

Steamfair FM - SB writes that this RSL for the Great Dorset Steam Fair will be broadcasting to mid-Dorset on 87.9 MHz from Saturday 23rd August to Monday 1st September, closing at 3pm. A special feature this year will be the 50th anniversary of the UK offshore radio pioneers, and there will be some classic pirate radio jingles played throughout the broadcasting time. Big Chris Day (Offshore Music Radio) will be amongst the presenters, and further details can be found on the Steam Fair FM website. The station has a limited coverage, but will be available to all via an internet stream from the website.www.steamfairfm.com

RXKR the first offshore pirate - Tony never ceases to amaze me with what he finds on the internet. Attached on the link are pictures of the first offshore radio station ship. which broadcast in 1933 when the vessel was named the City of Panama. Shots taken by the divers and research into the vessel City of Panama

  • July 2014

(Almost) Offshore - Gerry pointed us in the direction of a property you might like to buy - Number 1, The Thames, Sheerness ME3. Known also as The Grain Tower Battery. Described as a 'gun emplacement situated on a spit of land half a mile off the Isle of Grain'. The original structure was built in 1855 similar to the towers in the Solent. It is 'bomb proof' and accessible at low tide by a causeway. At all other times via boat or helicopter. Comes with foreshore rights and half an acre of land. Built to guard the Thames against Napoleon and further modified in the 20th century. Used to anchor one end of an anti-submarine net in WW2. It is for sales at £500,000 freehold. River Homes For BBC Report visit BBC Report

Photo from Wikipedia re-printed under terms. Copyright holder Clem Rutter, Rochester, Kent - own work.

Summer 2014 International Radio Report by Hans Knot. Lots of Offshore news and Nostalgia. Interesting letters and lots of useful links. So click on the link for this report or sign-up. Hans Knot

Radio Nord Revival - I'm somewhat surprised to be reporting on this as we understood the project had closed. On their blogspot Radio Nord Revival they report that on August 23rd they will return for a special broadcast from The Castle off Vaxholm, Sweden in connection with the Radio Day, arranged by Täby Sändareamatörer. This date celebrates the 100th anniversary of coastal station Vaxholm Radio. The site is also famous as it was from here that on September 1st, 1919 the first broadcast in Sweden was made using the facilities of the coastal radio station. Transmissions were of music and speech and an audience listened in at the premises of Telegrafverket (the Telegraphy Board), Brunkebergstorg in Stockholm.

With a number of the original Radio Nord staff they’ll be transmitting on MW 1512 kHz AM from Kvarnberget, Vallentuna, using 1 kW of power. Programmes will be relayed from Sala over a 10 kW SW transmitter using A3H modulation (single sideband plus full carrier) plus on the 75 metre band a 5 kW rig. There are also plans for a low-powered SW transmitter broadcasting from the actual Castle.

SUSY Radio 103.4 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY !! Today 15th July Susy celebrates her second birthday at 12 midday! Tune in on 103.4 FM or go off to the website!

Meridian FM, East Grinstead - The East Grinstead Courier carried a story re Meridian FM being criticised by Ofcom for lack of local content and Meridian FMs response

Meridian FM story

SUSY Radio 103.4 - Susy Radio now has a new re-vamped website. Use the link to see the SUSY Radio difference!

  • June 2014

OEM Magazine Issue 176 In this issue: Radio Caroline's (and Ronan's) achievements, Interview George Saunders part 2, Radio Mercur Story part 8, Stormy Days in November 1975, Newscaster part 12 and more. Large rare colour pictures on cover and inside. Don't miss this issue. Subscribe now £28.00 UK only (four issues) and save £8 as well as time and postage costs!

sasradiogroup - next meet Tuesday 1st July. See the brand new OEM Magazine, get the latest SAS Interference (all you ever wanted to know about UK pirate radio!) and you can see "One Man Archers Show Leaves the airwaves for good" Daily Telegraph Wednesday June 25. The demise of BBC Local Radio!

1386 kHz Summerfest Radio - across the nighttime 21st/22nd June down at my locale near Redhill this station was comming in with a SINPO on average 22222 peaking sometimes at 32232. Very strong audio-processing and a relay of the official 87.9 MHz. Of note on the night 3rd June a strong station with continuous music was on 1386 splattering over 1377/1395 at times. I first thought with was Carillon Radio which can come in strongly on occassion.

'Offshore Radio' Two events are coming upon us!

Red Sands Radio - on 87.9 MHz Red Sands Radio returns from 7th July 2014. Serving North Kent coastal towns and across the Thames into Essex. Red Sands Radio

Radio Seagull / Radio Waddenzee - In August 2014, it will have been 40 years since the Dutch MOA closed down the Dutch offshore radio stations and it has been far too long since the last remaining radioship in the world was out at sea. From 20th August 2014 until 31st August Radio Seagull and Radio Waddenzee will be broadcasting live from the LV Jenni Baynton, anchored 3 miles off the Dutch coast on 1602 kHz AM.

An Evening with Roger 'Twiggy' Day - It has been announced that this Friday's event (13th June) has been cancelled. Anyone with tickets should have been contacted by the theatre today. This also means that our sasradiogroup night out has gone to the wall as we'd booked six tickets! The event may be re-scheduled so we will try to keep you informed. Alternatively go to the Harlequin Theatre website.

Susy Radio - Neil Munday reminds me that Vines of Redhill, BMW has continued its' in sponsorship of Traffic and Travel on Susy Radio. Neil advises “the support from Vines of Redhill, BMW has been superb as they wish be involved with Susy Radio which is now a huge part of the community and by supporting the traffic and travel not only gets the corporate name on air but has enabled Susy radio to develop its travel information provision and subscribe to a professional travel provider which coupled with local updates from the ever brilliant “Susy Traffic Rangers” who are just members of the public who call travel issues in to the studio from local immediate problems that help keep everyone moving!”

Susy Travel is broadcast during breakfast and drive programmes at 20 minutes past and 10 minutes to each hour. There is a further mid-morning update. If serious issues arise then updates are made throughout the day as required. Having worked on Susy in the past Presenters will pass on information to their colleagues re ongoing incidents or if a Susy Traffic Ranger calls in!

Principality of Sealand - The Daily Mail has an article on Sealand today which is also available via their website. Many photos on the web and a chance to hear the national anthem. Daily Mail - Sealand

June 2014 International Radio Report by Hans Knot. I held off for a few days to give Mi Amigo 40 well earned space. Click on the link for this eventful report or sign-up. Hans takes a lot of time to collate this and there are many,many links to photo archives of RNI, Caroline in Zandaam Harbour and the Galaxy in Hamburg. Other links to videos etc as well as the usual news and nostalgia. Hans Knot

sasradiogroup - At our meeting 3rd June 2014 - 10 members helped celebrate 30 years since Laser 558! A lot of interest was shown in Monday's edition of Times2 which has a feature on the new local (city) TV stations. Two additional members were also expected but, had to revise their plans at the last minute. We've also organised for the first time an sasradiogroup night out. More details will appear very,very shortly.

sporadic-e - today (3rd June) picking up Italian and stations from Adriatic coast on 87.5 to 88.0 MHz and other frequencies. London pirate OnTop Fm flattened by an Italian legal station. The latest (June) edition of Radio User Magazine PW Publishing Radio User Magazine carries an excellent feature on sporadic-e. How it comes about and how it affects propagation. I might bring a copy of a vintage SAS Home Pages which also covered this subject!

  • May 2014

Radio Mi Amigo - to celebrate the offshore sounds first heard 40 years ago, from 00.01 hrs 29th May until 24.00 hrs hrs on 31st May. Mi Amigo lives from the radio ship ' Artemis'. On 94.9 MHz and also on the web at Mi Amigo 40 with a mixture of tape programming from the 70s and DJs live on board.

An Evening with Roger 'Twiggy' Day - After last years test event Roger is back again! This time at The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill on Friday 13th June at 7.30pm. Hear about life on Radio Caroline and the real boats that rocked in the sixties.Find out what really happened when Roger Day toured with the Beach Boys and the Small Faces! whilst it won't get you a discount please let the theatre know you got to hear from it here! Harlequin Theatre

Laser 558 - This is a year of many anniversaries - On May 24th it will be 30 years since 'All Europe Radio' Laser 558 commenced official transmissions. It's fair to say that the station changed the face of UK broadcasting. Wherever you went - into shops, restaurants or taxis Laser was the sound of summer '84. There was the 'Laser Effect' on the charts - Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Relax' went back up to the top of the charts due to the airplay! Another perfect example of this would be some trips that year to visit my Grandma in Devon. I couldn't drive at the time so my younger sister took us all down - listening to Radio One all the way. God it was boring! A Saturday morning and DLT's show was at least 50% chat with various competitions etc. So much for our national pop station. Next time down my brother-in-law drove. He was never really a fan and very soon got fed up so I persuaded him to tune into Laser and so breaking the Marine Offences Act. We got a good signal most of the way down and he was converted! Many happy, happy memories and a brilliant station! We have pictures of some of the Laser crew on the Caroline Movement pages and for a brief period we had some visits at our meets in 1984/1985. To all those involved a big 'thank you!'

AM & SW DX - Sunday 18th from 20.00hrs BST I was trying to find the Portuguese short-wave pirate Eldorado Radio which uses 14651 kHz. I couldn't get it but on 14640 kHz there was a transmission of international pop music SIO 222. I couldn't easily get the ID but I did hear an alternate frequency announced and tuned down to 15540 kHz. A very strong and high quality broadcaster SIO 444 which resolved itself as Radio Kuwait. I think it was Tony who said that Radio Kuwait is very popular with expat workers in the Middle East particularly before the arrival of the internet. If you have a moment give it a listen.

Late spring and early summer may not come across as a good time for AM D/X. However, I suggest you run a competition to see what you can hear on 1386 kHz. There are a number of very low powered AM transmitters in the UK (1w merp supposedly) on this frequency. At my location on the Surrey / Sussex border armed with my faithful Grundig Satellit 500 and a loop frame aerial I can normally hearCarillon Radio from Loughborough / Coalville, Leceister from 23.00 hrs BST. In the past I have also resolved Anker Radio from Nuneaton. Both are hospital radio stations. I can normally hear a third station underneath but have yet to ID it. So go out and get logging. In other locations I suspect you'd get alternative stations. Another time to try would be before and after dawn.

Tony Blackburn - congratulations to Tony for picking up a Gold Award at the Radio Academy Awards on 13th May. The 71 year old Tony has always acknowledged his offshore radio roots on Caroline and London. At the ceremony he paid tribute to Radio Caroline and founder Ronan O'Rahilly. It is the second time he has collected the award.

Michael Fabricant in an article in The Sunday Telegraph dated 11th May claimed that he was expelled at gunpoint from the Soviet Union. His business sold radio equipment kit and he states that when installing a desk at a Moscow radio station he tried to turn the Head of Studio Planning who allegedly was in the KGB. Ed: we think this was MBI Sound & Light formed with Gerry Rudgewick from land based station SRE Brighton (aka Mark Stuart, Radio Northsea International).

sasradiogroup - nine members attended the meet, Colin's excuse for not coming sailing on a yacht in Greek waters perhaps wanting that mast to be a bit higher!

  • April 2014

Surrey Anorak's Society - Next meeting: 6th May from 8.30pm at The Toby Inn, Redhill, Surrey. A chance to meet Graham and other sasradiogroup members. We'll also be bringing along the latest Tune Into Yesterday magazine and supplements.

Radio User magazine - The May edition is on sale from 24th April from WH Smiths. Of note to us is that SAS member Graham Foy has written a feature article 'Ownership of the UK's Commercial Radio Stations'. So go out and buy! PW Publishing Radio User Magazine. See comments under digitalspy.co.uk

May 2014 International Radio Report by Hans Knot. with further reports on the RadioDay 2014. Plus memories from well known and lesser known names and lots of links to interesting websites with offshore radio memories. Thanks to Hans Knot' for re-printing our communique. Interesting news that Stewart Payne - Fleet Street journalist is working on a book on offshore radio. Many will recall his articles in London's Evening papers. Sign up or go to the link Hans Knot

BBC Radio Two - Don't forget Monday 28th April from 10 to 11 pm Part 2 of the two part documentary They Didn’t Fade Away – 50 Years of the Pirates. Part 1 still available to hear at the BBC iPlayer.

Books 'Off the Map' Alastair Bonnett Aurum 310pp - Reviewed in the Seven magazine of the Sunday Telegraph on 27th April by Tom Fort (as you'll see an appropriate name) describes this as "a fizzingly entertaining guide to some of the oddest places on Earth". This includes lost towns, towns which exist but deliberately omitted from maps, enclaves, enclaves within enclaves, oddities etc. This includes microstates and naturally the tale of Sealand - based on an abandoned naval fort. A five star review for the book RRP £16.99 or via the Telegraph £14.99 plus £1.35 p&p. Tel 0844 871 1515 or books.telegraph.co.uk

Ofcom - I should have added this a while ago. Jeremy sent me a link to Ofcom Annual Report Jeremy says that under Ofcom's work programme (right at the bottom) Plan spectrum assignments and grants licenses. He makes comments "Nothing about 648 kHz" and also "At least "Enforcment" is right at the bottom of the list of priorities. A veritable pirates' bonanza."

US Pirate Radio - further to Hans Knot's report of the 16th www.radiosurvivor.com reports that three stations were raided in Boston including Touch 106.1 serving the Afro American community. Go to the article US Pirate Raids. to read about the raids and US LPFM (lo-power FM licensing)

Radio Wadenzee / Radio Seagull - 22.04.13 further to our report from earlier this month Radio Wadenzee is on-air from 07.00 to 19.00 hrs local times with Seagull overnight from 19.00 to 07.00 the next day. Seagull is still on-air via the web 24 hours per day.

Easter Monday 'pirate' radio

BBC Radio Norfolk has a day of shows presented by former offshore DJs: 7am Ray Clark (Mick Williams on Radio Caroline), 9am Andy Archer (Caroline), 11am Tom Edwards (City), 1pm Keith Skues (Caroline/London) 4pm Colin Berry (Radio Caroline)

BBC Radio Norfolk and BBC Essex 6-7pm Pirates At 50 (see above).

BBC Radio Two 10 to 11 pm Part 1 of a two part documentary They Didn’t Fade Away – 50 Years of the Pirates

Three Mile Limit - you can't yet see the film but you can now listen into soundtrack. This features original 1960's songs from Ray Columbus, Shane, The Surfires and more, with new music by Michael Murphy, Suzanne Lynch. Go to iTunes and type in 3 Mile Limit to download your copy.

HOT NEWS!! According to their website and a press release Radio Wadenzee is to return to medium wave. The station will resume transmissions on medium-wave on 1602 kHz from 07.00 hrs local time on 21st April 2014. Programming will run from 07.00 to 19.00 CET. Meanwhile the Radio Seagullwebsite still has their station as running 24 hours per day on 1602 from the same location. If you are within the 1602 reception are you can find out on Monday!

Constellations - the April and May edition (May is just out) of Aviation News has Part 1 and Part 2 of Military versions of the Lockheed Constellation. Under 'Specialist Duties' there are a couple of paragraphs of the NC-121J version for radio and television broadcasts to the troops in Vietnam. Similar 'planes were meant to broadcast Caroline TV in 1970.

New York pirates - 16.04.14 Hans Knot has pointed us in the direction of significant activities. FCC officials and US Marshalls raided three addresses in New York and closed down two pirate radios. The Bronx studio and Manhattan transmission facilities of Rika FM 94.5 and 94.9 MHz were busted and another station also from Manhattan on 95.3 and 100.1 MHz was also closed Source radioworld.com

MV Norderney - Mediapages.nl reports that on 19th April there will be a member / supporter organised day from 12.00 to 18.00 hrs by the Norderney Foundation. This includes live broadcasts of Golden Oldies, Top 40 and Tipparade. Former DJs and technicians will be present. The Veronicaday this year is at the MV Norderney moored at NDSM Pier, opposite the Ijkantine and next to the Botel.

Three Mile Limit - has just won Best Feature Film at the Charleston International Film Festival. Three Mile Limit has collected a few awards now and we hope this will lead to a later release in the UK.

sasradiogroup - a good meeting on Tuesday 1st April 2014 with a turn-out of a dozen (or as my sister calls it a coven!). A time to toast 50 years of the lady which was at the heart of our discussions. Also two people from Susy Radio, a chance to read the latest issue of Offshore Echos so you can see what you might miss! Plus the March issue of Radio User (yes the April issue is now out but I'm not going to deny them any sales! PW Publishing Radio User Magazine). Remember we carry out the 50th celebrations across the year! Anybody spot that the Radio Times last week had pictures of Radio London!

  • March 2014

April Publications now out!!

April 2014 International Radio Report by Hans Knot. This includes a full report on the RadioDay 2014. 425 people attended the 36th and sadly, the last RadioDay Futyre events will be organised under a new name by Jan van Heeren and Jan-Fre Vos. and details will be included in Hans Knot's reports. Also lots of news in Hans report including the Three Mile Limit film, Offshore Radio Museum, Emperor Rosko etc. Get signed up or go to the link Hans Knot

Ed's comments: Whilst I've never attended a Radio Day it has always received a very positive press and it's thanks to Hans Knot and his team that this has been such a success over all these years. We wish the new event every success.

Publications - Tune Into Yesterday Issue 71 features CBS 'War of the Worlds' 1938 The 'lost'discs, News from and Archives and Issue 71 supplement From the pages of 'Radio Guide' 1939-1942, Radio Wars - Broadcasting During the Cold War. Contact details see Other Radio Groups

ITV - David Johns reports It's Radio Caroline's 50th Birthday! Here's my article about it; reports on ITV tonight, tomorrow and Friday. http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2014-03-26/pirate-radio-milestone/

sasradiogroup COMMUNIQUE - Over 50 years ago Radio Caroline signed on for the first time at midday on the 28th March 1964. Listeners heard Simon Dee make the opening announcement and The Rolling Stones “Not fade away”. In the background there was an immense sense of achievement and relief. The transmissions from the MV Caroline (ex Fredericia) on 199 metres 1520 kHz were more than just a buccaneering sword cutting into the BBC’s monopoly. They represented a substantial commercial risk.

There were other factors which created additional risks for this unusual venture. Technical - Would the hi-powered broadcasts work and be reliable? Marine – could the ship remain safely at sea throughout the year? Political – Would the ship be boarded and closed? Would the new Labour government introduce legislation similar to that of the Scandinavian countries to quickly close them down?

Commercial - Radio Caroline actually had a lot of establishment money as investors. Whilst efforts were taken to minimise the risks, the business was at the mercy of nature and the politicians. Had disaster or the government struck early on then the backers would have had major loses. In Caroline’s case the situation was made worse by the lack of commercial acumen. The secrecy behind the project meant there were no adverts sold before the station opened. It would be until 1st May 1964 that the first commercial was transmitted.

Caroline was not initially a pop station. It was “Your all day music station” and carried more than just mainstream Top 40 music. For Ronan O’Rahilly and his team important questions would soon be answered.

Would the format appeal? Would listeners tune in, in any great numbers? Would advertisers buy time and then make repeat buys?

If you look at the history of any Offshore radio project from the late 50s into the 80s then the commercial risk must be seen as high. That word again Risk. If you compare say Radio Caroline’s launch to the newest UK radio group Communicorp you must ask where is it? Earlier this year Comminicorp bought eight regional stations off Global. They could have set up their own branded stations with a new format. It would have been a credible operation and a threat to the other groups. Instead they are running a franchise operation under the Smooth and Capital banners owned by Global. Like the other major groups one wonders if they are simply risk averse.

When is the last time commercial radio actually stuck its neck out? Over twenty years ago GWR put Classic FM on the map and created a whole new market in UK radio. Or possibly the late lamented, Melody Radio in London. Aimed at the older, more sophisticated listener, yet succeeding in acquiring many younger listeners. You might argue about Radio 5 Live but that surely was to put a spoke in the wheel of a new national commercial competitor. Today the dial is dominated by a few networks, in the hands of three major groups playing very restricted playlists. This is why BBC Radio 2 has nearly 17% of listeners. Yet its daytime output (and now into the evenings) increasingly sounds like a commercial network (albeit one with a large playlist) but without the adverts.

If you wonder why the UK airwaves sound so crowded yet so bland remember the word RISK or rather the lack of it.

We should give thanks to Caroline and the stations that followed. Their pioneering spirit bought many competitors, created a loyalty between listener and the pirates rarely replicated in the commercial radio world of today. She changed the face of broadcasting in the UK and influenced radio on the continent. In the 70s and 80s having two comebacks from the dead, changing format to bring in a new generation of listeners. She has survived much legislation, running aground, losing masts, illegal raids and even loss of the ship. Since 1991 Caroline does not exist offshore anymore. Currently surviving on the internet like a great battleship lurking in a fjord - a safe harbour. I'd like to think she is "a fleet in being". Ready to sortie once more to take on the world. Caroline will have to look into the past and take risks to survive the next 50 years and bring her cause to a new audience.



Friday 28th March - starts 10.30 am at Walton & Frinton Lifeboat House, The Espalande, Walton-on-the-Naze.


**Pop Pirate Ship DJs**

**Celebration at sea (off the pier) at the start of the pop pirate ships 50 years ago!**

**RNLI and media boats**

**Music and entertainment on shore**

**Afternoon / evening live bands and DJ entertainment at The Royal Marine Public House, Walton-on-the-Naze**

**Admission FREE! ALL WELCOME!**

FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT CAPTAIN CAMPBELL ON 07806 309460 or e-mail captaincampbell319@gmail.com

OEM Offshore Echos Magazine - Issue 175 was received yesterday. A special Radio Caroline 50 Years Ago issue. Contents: News, Interview with Coconut, Veronica April Fool 1964, Interview George Saunders, Radio Mercur Part 7, MV Mi Amigo November 1975 part 2, Government Files and Newscaster Issue 10. All highly recommended and some fantastic photos as well. Congratulations to all the OEM / FRC team for 40 years of publication from all at the Surrey Anorak's Society.

13.03.14 I'm catching up with a few bits - sorry for any delay...

Radio User Magazine - Often Radio User comes up at our meetings. Ray and Graham F, and others, seem to be regular readers. This is the best selling radio listeners magazine in the UK. For our side of things there is the 'Off the Record' column by Oscar and always worth a look at L,M&S Broadcast Matters column too. For further information PW Publishing Radio User Magazine. I've also added this to our Other Radio Groups page which needs to be re-named!

Caroline North - From 31st March until the 27th April for those in the Liverpool area can tune into 87.7 MHz FM to re-live the memories of Radio Caroline North. Based on the LV23 in Albert Dock. Listeners outside the are can tune into carolinenorth.com.

Three Mile Limit - the movie was released in New Zealand on 6th March 2014 to some very positive response

Radio Caroline MV Ross Revenge - Radio Structures have now installed the cross trees and stays which means the Ross is ready for her next move...

sasradiogroup - next meeting Tuesday 4th March 2014 from 8.30pm. Also if you couldn't get tickets for the Radio Caroline 50th Birthday Party at Rochester then why not visit us on 1st April 2014 when we will have our celebrations for 'the lady'' as we keep the dream alive.

Publications - March 2014 International Radio Report Hans Knot's latest excellent newsletter is now available. If you don't subscribe go and visit Hans Knot

  • February 2014

RTV Drenthe - 25.02.14 Dutch regional broadcaster celebrated 25 years by transmitting live from the rebuilt tower at Hoogersmilde.

MV Norderney -19.02.14 A court has ruled on the use of the Veronica logo. Sky Radio had sought to ban the Norderney Foundation from using this and had sought damages. The court has ruled that the Norderney Foundation can continue to use the logo in connection with the stations offshore history. The details have not been released as they are commercially sensitive. Juul Geleick of Norderney Foundation advised. "We will continue with our website in its current form and with our other activities, so that the offshore station Radio Veronica gets a nice resume and rightful place in history."

Media Network - After Anyone who remembers Radio Netherlands Media Network will know that it continued as a blog on the rnw website. After Radio Netherlands Worldwide ‘closure’ in June 2012 this was sadly removed. People ask me if it still exists - somewhere. You’ll be pleased to know a copy was placed at web.archive.org / blogs.rnw.nl/medianetwork This is a searchable archive.

Radio Caroline - please note the event has now been ticketed out

Radio Caroline PRESS RELEASE - At last! You can now purchase your tickets for the Radio Caroline 50th Birthday event on 8th March 2014 at The Rochester Corn Exchange. Tickets are just £30 for the whole day and evening entertainment including music by Charlie Dore and The Counterfeit Beatles. If you have registered you will be receiving an e-mail explaining the simple process to purchase the tickets. Once completed the tickets will be mailed to your door. We look forward to seeing you in Rochester. It's going to be a great day including a chance to view some photos that have never been seen in public and before and insights into life on board our radio ships never before discussed.

Check on our 50th anniversary site www.radiocaroline50.co.uk Terms & conditions

Horizon Magazine - Issue No 153 of the Radio Caroline fans magazine includes: Caroline 50th Bash Update, Programme Highlights and presenter news, Caroline Countdown from Graham Coull and New Music from Barry Marsh, Mark Dezzani in the Caroline Interview Latest Ross Revenge Restoration photos and news as she prepares to move to a new home in 2014, Billy Walton Band ‘Crank it Up’ on the Ross Revenge for a promotional video Cliff Osbourne reviews 2013 and looks to the year ahead including news from Ofcom on Medium Wave. For contact details see Other Radio Groups

BBC World Service – awaiting government approval are plans to introduce limited advertising and sponsorship to the World Service from this April. This coincides with funding being switched from Foreign and Commonwealth Office grant to the BBC’s own licence fee. In addition the BBC has announced that funding for the World Service will also be increased by £6.5m per year. The Guardian quotes the NUJ as being opposed to the plans will “de-value the brand and threaten the impartiality of …World Service programmes. Eds comments: changes already made to the World Service by taking input from BBC national broadcasters has already started to undermine impartiality at the World Service. Some WS employees privately complaining at, what they perceive as the influence of left wing bias of the national broadcaster. Unlike most Western international broadcasters which see continual reductions in funding the BBC the World Service is seeing a small increase.

Communicorp - The Times and The Daily Telegraph (07.02.13) report that the group has bought eight stations from Global for £35m. This makes the new player in the UK market the fourth largest group. The three Real stations (N Wales, Yorkshire, Real Manchester) will be re-branded as Smooth as part of a 10 year licensing deal along with Smooth East Midlands, Smooth NW and Smooth NE. Communicorp have also bought two Capital stations (Scotland, South Wales). Eds Comment: Rather then create a new brand Communicorp have chosen a less riskier route by a licensing/franchise agreement re Smooth and Capital brands. Presumably this will include networked programming.

sasradiogroup - meeting Tuesday 04.02.14. Another very well attended meet and a great way to continue the year. Current 'hot' news the future of London's Sunrise Radio...

Sunrise Radio - members Jeremy and Martin both noted 1035 kHz as being off-air and 1458 kHz carrying a test tone. Today (5th February) both carrying music as the stations have been brought out of administration by Lyca Media. Sunrise 2 (Buzz Asia Ltd) has re-branded as Sunrise Radio 963 / 972. Meanwhile this morning Star 106.6 is putting out sporadic bursts of music and the odd ID. Interestingly this station normally fights it out with Spirit FM on the same channel around Gatwick. Today it is clear that Star must be on low power. The station website has also been taken down. It is thought that administrators Grant Thornton UK LLP are trying to sell off Time 107.5 and Time 106.6 to new owners. Jack FM are thought to be a possible buyer for Time 106.6.

SB kindly gave me a CD with photos he took on a boat trip to the Ross Revenge in 1985 plus a few other odd bits. In the coming week these will be added to the website.

Publications - February 2014 International Radio Report Hans Knot has fired us his latest e-mail newsletter. As usual lots of memories and info Mercure / DCR, RNI etc. If you don't subscribe go to http://www.hansknot.com/

Philip Seymour Hoffman - sad to hear the news on Sky that the 46 year old actor who played 'The Count' in The Boat That Rocked passed away last night from an apparent drugs overdose.

  • January 2014

Susy Radio - if you can grab a copy of last Thursdays Surrey Mirror dated 17.01.13 In the Entertainment section there is a full page article on Susy 103.4. This is not available on the paper's website. If not turn up to our next meeting for a read...

sasradiogroup - Surrey Anorak's Society meeting 7th January 2014 - a very well attended meeting with people from far and wide. A good way to start of Caroline's 50th birthday year! Copies of various publications as listed below plus previous OEM issue! Mr B showed an interesting article on community radio in Kent. However, the page on the kentnews.co.uk website is no longer available for us to link to.

Publications - SAS Interference - London FM 2013 and Ofcom 2012 Raid Statistics.

Radio Listeners Guide 2013 edition published. Details of BBC national, Regional and Local services, UK commercial and community radio, plus Irish National and commercial stations. See website Radio Guide for details and tell them you found it via our website.

sasradiogroup - Surrey Anorak's Society next meeting 7th January 2014! - See our page Calendar & Meetings where we have added links for flood warnings and traffic info.

Challenge Newsletter No 7 - the Winter 2013/2014 edition is now available on e-mail distribution. For more details of the Steam Tug 'Challenge' which helped place the Seaforts in the Thames Estuary and to get your e-mail version visit www.stchallenge.org.

Three Mile Limit - News reached us over Christmas that this movie based on the true story of Radio Hauraki is now due to have its premier in New Zealand on 6th March 2014. Any details of a UK distribution of the film or a later DVD release will be shown here.